Japan weighs in on South China Sea dispute, adding to pressure on Beijing

Permanent mission to UN sends note saying China’s territorial baselines on some islands and reefs fail to satisfy conditions in United Nations conventionIt also accuses China of restricting freedom of navigation and overflight

Laura Zhou

Laura Zhou in Beijing

Published: 7:51pm, 21 Jan, 2021 SCMP

Japan’s diplomatic note made reference to China’s protests against the overflight of Japanese aircraft at Mischief Reef. Photo: AP

Japan’s diplomatic note made reference to China’s protests against the overflight of Japanese aircraft at Mischief Reef. Photo: AP

Japan has joined a battle of diplomatic notes over the South China Sea dispute, adding to pressure on Beijing over its expansive claims in the strategically important waterway.

In a note verbale – a type of diplomatic communication – sent on Tuesday, Japan’s permanent mission to the United Nations said China’s “drawing of territorial sea baselines … on relevant islands and reefs in the South China Sea” failed to satisfy conditions set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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